If you think you’re using the same pattern as your boat partner, but he’s catching and you’re not, it’s time for a closer look…
THE fine art of deception in competition fishing can make all the difference between success and failure. In this case, it comes down to a fly that’s not quite what it seems.
This pattern has evolved over a number of years and goes under various names including Fork-tail Blob, Foam Blob and, in its most up-to-date guise, the Foam-arsed Blob (FAB).
The illusion is that to everybody else you are fishing a standard Blob, when in fact, hidden under the chenille is a tail and body made of closed cell foam that makes it a very buoyant pattern, much like a Booby. Its more streamlined profile means it doesn’t displace, pop and vibrate in the water like a Booby, so won’t replace it exactly, but it is still a hugely successful fly. These foam-tailed Blobs work extremely well with a washing-line style set-up (the Blob on the point with nymphs, wets or mini lures on the droppers) or presented on fast sinking lines and popped up just off the bottom and then retrieved either at pace or slowly.
The Scottish anglers, so successful on the competition circuit, have been using it to its full potential and Anglian Water Airflo International 2009 champions Change Fly Fishers regard it as one of their most successful patterns.
When tied correctly the blob chenille should completely cloak the foam at the tail so when viewed side-on it looks like any other Blob.
Controversy though is never far away. In matches where catch-and-release is allowed after a limit has been taken a ‘No Booby’ rule often comes into play. You might get away with using this Blob because technically it’s not a Booby, but it is a floating fly and the risk of a deeply hooked fish is still there. But until someone changes the ‘no Booby’ rule to ‘no floating flies’ it’s not technically cheating, perhaps just pushing the boundaries and ethics a little!
Hook: Size 8 Drennan Trad Wet or size 10 competition heavyweight
Thread: Fluo fire orange UTC 70
Tail & underbody: Yellow closed cell foam
Body: Sunburst Plush chenille
Head: Fluo fire orange UTC 70
1 Set hook in vice, then catch thread in at eye and run down hook shank in touching turns. Apply a layer of varnish.
2 Place pre-cut foam cylinder, with ‘V’ facing towards rear, on top of hook shank and secure with locking turns of thread.
3 Use thread turns to bind down the foam securely to the hook shank without compressing it too much.
4 Trim waste foam at front of hook. Run thread along hook shank and tie in a length of sunburst blob chenille.
5 Wrap blob chenille in close touching turns along hook shank, sweeping back the fibres before each turn.
6 Trim chenille. Build up a neat head with tying thread and whip finish, then apply a coat of varnish to the head.